Title: The Valley of Amazement
Author: Amy Tan
Paperback, 589 pages
Expected Publication: November 2013 by HarperCollins
Moving between the glittering world of courtesans in turn-of-the-century Shanghai, a remote Chinese mountain village, and the rough-hewn streets of nineteenth-century San Franciso, New York Times bestselling author Amy Tan’s long-awaited epic novel maps the lives of women connected by blood and history - and the mystery of a painting known as The Valley of Amazement.
Long-awaited indeed!! I can not begin to describe how excited I was to hear Amy Tan had a new novel and that I would get my hands on it 4 months early. = D (Thanks to my bestie for practically stalking the publishers at BEA for a copy).
I am an avid fan of Tan and have a copy of every book she’s written, all on it’s own special shelf. She has a masterful way of weaving generations of women together effortlessly, focusing primarily on the relationships of mother and daughter. I read her previous book (Saving Fish From Drowning) and while I enjoyed it... it strayed from her usual style and I found myself setting it aside a few times. With The Valley of Amazement, I feel like she went back to her roots (reminiscent of The Joy Luck Club) and it was WELL worth the wait.
A couple of months ago I read her short story Rules for Virgins and was sad it was over so quickly. I was so curious about what happened to this young virgin courtesan and whether or not her fate changed. Imagine my GREAT surprise when I noticed this short story was a chapter within this book and about the main character herself.
Tan is always able to beautifully demonstrate the love a mother and daughter share through separation, hardships and heartbreaking tragedies. She embraces the typical roles expected of each: Mothers are wise, old fashioned and simple minded and daughters naive, forward thinking and daring. But you learn so much more about these characters who break through this simple veil they’re given and prove to be so much more. There was so many points in the book that broke my heart... I was amazed by the strength of these women and what they can endure while still remaining hopeful for a better future.
This was the kind of book I couldn’t put down but was scared of finishing - I was caught up in nineteenth century China and all it’s beauty... mesmerized by Tan’s beautiful Valley of Amazement. I loved it so much that I want to share a copy with you guys!! Simply enter the raffle below by midnight Wednesday, July 31st! Trust me, you want this book!